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Why CAT continues to skew towards engineers?

Admit Card: 23 Oct '19 - 24 Nov '19

Why CAT continues to skew towards engineers?

20 candidates scored a perfect 100 percentile score in CAT 2016 and they were all engineers. 20 candidates scored a perfect 100 percentile score in CAT 2017 again and 17 of them were engineers; still a large majority. You think it’s a coincidence? Perhaps not.

Engineers are a strong and hard breed!

Engineers in India are bred pretty strong and hard. While CAT is a tough nut to crack, engineers who had cracked JEE are already past an even tougher test, and a very difficult one to say the least. JEE is harsh, difficult and highly competitive. It shouldn’t be forgotten that these engineers were much younger when they cleared the JEE examination and the experience they gained over 4 years of engineering helps them a great deal in performing well in the CAT examination.

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Why so many engineers make it to the IIMs?

Engineers take majority of IIM seats and that trend hasn’t changed over the years. The primary cause behind this is the number of students that opt for engineering courses compared to the commerce and arts stream students. Parents also push their younger ones into engineering colleges and hence it doesn’t come as surprise that a large percentage of engineers appear for CAT. Although official reports aren’t available in this regard, going by information from experts, as many as 55% to 60% of students who take CAT examination are engineers.

As the CAT examination pattern is mostly skewed towards the mathematical ability of a student, engineers having had mastered mathematics during their undergraduate studies, find it to be a breeze.

However, just because engineers are comparatively stronger in Quant (Quantitative Ability) and DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) sections, doesn’t mean that they don’t have to put in any additional effort. Majority of engineers who appear for CAT entrance examination opt for coaching classes. Considering the fact that different students have different approaches towards coaching, some of them hone their skills through classroom style coaching, while others opt for mock test series and sectional tests, tasks they can complete even from home.

Why engineers do exceptionally well at CAT can also be viewed from another perspective with the help of an example. If we look at some of the leading providers of mock CAT tests in India and pick 1000 students who consistently scored higher than 95th percentile in one or more of these tests, chances are high that almost 500 of these 1000 students would have made it to the top 10 MBA institutes.

The obvious

It’s obvious that if you have any such large group that has passed through such preselection, it will inevitably do well in the actual CAT examination too. Testing the verbal and quantitative ability of students has been accepted as a valid method of gauging their abilities. And CAT does a fairly good job at this. Feeling upset about the fact that engineers constitute a large majority of people who crack CAT is the same as feeling upset that top MBA institutes seek smart students! Many of the opinion that why engineers do exceptionally well in CAT is because they are good, and not because they’re favored in any manner.

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